Targets are on course

21st May 2004 at 01:00
As Adult Learners' Week draws to a close, we highlight a ground-breaking programme that is going national

Ministers yesterday (Thursday) strongly defended their record on adult learning during a debate in the Scottish Parliament to coincide with National Learning at Work day.

Lewis Macdonald, Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, said the Scottish Executive was already meeting many of its targets set out last year in the partnership agreement.

It was a year ahead of schedule in its bid to see 30,000 apprentices in training, while nine new projects, backed by pound;1.2 million of Executive funding, have started under the Scottish Union Learning Fund.

"So far these projects have encouraged 17,500 people to access guidance and informal learning, supported 2,390 to take up accredited training and involved 740 union learning representatives in training," Mr Macdonald said.

A further 3,000 adults have called the national helpline set up through the Big Plus initiative to tackle low levels of adult literacy and numeracy.

Mr Macdonald urged other adults to enhance their skills and learning. "It is not the case of having either world class universities or being at the cutting edge for training and skills globally - Scotland can have both, and that is our aim," he said.

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